Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Lost in translation ... from English

Well, yes, they're Welsh, but Stereophonics happen to sing in English, without song titles like Glynywwywyw.

And in the U.K., they're quite big. Dakota hit No. 1 in March, propelled by immense online interest.

Here? Well .

I don't envy the British in all regards - as much as I love the BBC as an institution, their pop offerings veer heavily toward the same sounds you'd hear in a club, and the beautifully bittersweet Dakota probably isn't pushing nicely dressed London professionals onto the dance floor these days. But it's a little sad that we in the Colonies can't pick up on a perfectly crafted pop song like this. Between my Launch player, XM's UPop channel and my iPod, I've heard it many, many times now, and I'm not the least bit tired of it. They lay down a relaxing minimalist groove (no small feat in itself - most pulsing backbeats have the same effect as Chinese water torture) under a wistful melody that perfectly suits the verses, then the chorus howls and breaks up the tranquility. It's not angry, and it's not despondent, so it's not like 99 percent of the relationship songs that Gen X and Gen Y have produced. Yet the lyrics convey the sense that the guy will always wish things hadn't ended.

Maybe it only appeals to older guys like me. I can't relate directly through any old relationship, but I appreciate that happy memories are often tied to sad farewells.

Then again, it's not as if everyone downloading this song in the U.K. is a sentimental 30something parent like me.

So go to iTunes, plunk down your 99 cents and get this song. I guarantee that you'll like it. *

* - guarantee void in the United States and all countries that can access American Web sites.

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